Pregnancy & Newborn’s Survey of More than 3,000 Parents Calls Attention to the Unsustainable Childcare System in the US

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Real parents share their stories about how the broken childcare system in America has affected their families. Their responses may surprise you.

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Half of those who responded said they either left a job, changed jobs, or decided to become a stay-at-home parent because of the cost or availability of childcare.

Pregnancy & Newborn, a wholly owned subsidiary of FueledLoop LLC, a division of Aeroflow Healthcare recently conducted a survey of over 3,000 parents on how the accessibility and cost of childcare in the United States have affected their lives and careers—and the results are astounding.

Millions of mothers left the workforce during the height of the pandemic, many never to return. The lack of childcare was the number one reason moms left or changed jobs in 2021. With the average cost of monthly daycare tuition for just one child totaling 22% of a family’s gross annual income, it’s no wonder why many families across the country have decided that returning to the office is not worth the cost.

A number of survey respondents from dual-income homes told Pregnancy & Newborn that even though both parents were working, they were still unable to afford the cost of daycare. And because these families made what is considered to be a large enough income, they were ineligible for government-subsidized programs.

Some of those families surveyed told Pregnancy & Newborn that even when both parents, or in many cases, just one parent in a single-parent household worked and sent their children to daycare, the cost of daycare was more than the cost of housing.

Half of those who responded said they either left a job, changed jobs, or decided to become a stay-at-home parent because of the cost or availability of childcare. A total of 77% of respondents who are not currently working said they would return to the workforce if childcare were more affordable or accessible.

What’s more, Pregnancy & Newborn has found that 80% of survey respondents were on a waitlist of six months or longer, further emphasizing the issue of available childcare; some waitlists exceeded two years, indicating that many parents who wished to return to the workforce were unable to due to the availability of childcare.

For some of those who were able to burden the cost and to get a spot in daycare, childcare centers’ limited hours, or drop-off and pick-up times not aligning with parents’ working hours means that in addition to the substantial cost of childcare, parents are left to supplement the time with extra help (and an additional cost). In fact, 40% of survey respondents said they have to supplement childcare.

With this being a nationwide issue, still, only 9% of employers provide childcare subsidies to their employees. America is facing a recession and a labor shortage, and Pregnancy & Newborn suggests that it’s time we look at the lack of parental support and the looming childcare crisis throughout the country as the real culprits. You can read the full report here.

Pregnancy & Newborn polled 3,087 mothers, parents, and expectant parents, and the results of this survey were analyzed and originally published on September 1, 2022.

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Tara Lustberg
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